BELOW THE BOTTOM RUNG 35 4 But surely,' I exclaimed, * you've got some authority as their commaiidirg officers ?' 6 No, I haven't. Not in & thing like that. Why, the very rumour of those chaps coming has caused a hell of a row all day—deser- tions, insolence, insubordination. I had to give in. I don't want to start another Indian Mutiny,' He swallowed his drink and, sighed. "Sounds silly, I know,' he said, 'but the worst of it was that one of the chaps cried. Said I'd broken his heart. 3Ie ! It's pretty grim when a chap like that starts crying/ He aughed uneasily. * Maybe I'm well shot of him—maybe he was a cissy. Oh, what the hell, anyway. x SCEXE Two. A village in a remote part of the south-west. I have come to see a temple which is reputed to be of great beauty. The expedition is not a success ; the temple is devoid of any archi- tectural interest and is only notable for the astonishing obscenity of the Phallic scenes which are carved roxuid its base. This has a curious affect on an American lady who is also g^ing the rounds. Acting on the principle that evil, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, she decides to put on a bold front, and drags me round the building, prodding her umbrella at the most abandoned exhibitions and trying to treat them from a purely aesthstic point of view. We came to one scene where everybody was so upside down and inside out that it should have been labelled *Sex in the Gymnasium.3 She regarded it with a cold, unblinking stare. "Definitely the Jain influence,' she proclaimed, with a ring of challenge. I had rxevcr heard it call that before. Having digested the obscsrities, I was at a loose end. The lady took her leave as it was very hot, and she was obviously exhausted by her unwonted championship of the Religion of the Red Light. But I wanted to explore the village so I left her sitting in the shade of the temple, silhouetted iu lofcy isolation against a back ground of ape-like ecstasies. I came to a big mad hut. It was the village school. I peered 1 This story could be multiplied ad nauseam. However, it is worth noting that , the Army, once it has got hold of a man, is proving a powerful instrument in under- kvjninmg the extreme caste sysiem. Discipline, comradeship, and above all a common sense of danger shared, haie worked wonders m the present war. When the boys •come marching home we may look out for fireworks.